Implementation: December 2008- February 2012
Country: Guatemala

Guatemala is the northernmost country of the central american isthmus, and has been identified as a región highly vulnerable to climate change. Its geographic vulnerability has been exacerbated by high poverty rates and poor environmental management. After hurricane Stan (Stan), the ministry of Agriculture calculated more than $50 million in damages, of which 96% pertaining to the agricultural sector. Over sixty thousand hectares were severely damaged and lost 150.000 tones of produce which severly endangered food security for local poulartions. Climate change variability will adversely affect the most vulnerable sectores of the population, namely the indigenous and rural communities and more specifically women and children. Climate change will exacerbate droughts or rains, such as the recent tropical storms, alter the quality of natural resources and endanger ecosystem resilience. 48% of Guatemala’s territory is today under the threat of sever droughts. In a country where about 41% of its population lives on about $1 a day, climate change’s impact on the availability of natural resources (water, food and wood) would be disastrous.

In order to remedy this situation the Joint Plan for Guatemala recognizes that the correct management of water resources is a key feature in the adaptation to climate change, particularly to confront the growing threat of exacerbated droughts. A correct management of hydrologic resources understands water’s importance for productive activities, social uses, hygienic and sanitary uses and communal use. It also recognizes the fact that water management may be devolved to private companies.

The Joint Program for Guatemala aims at three main goals:

1. Institutionalization of mechanisms facilitating the coordination and implementation of national territorial policies

2. Institutionalization of the financial and administrative mechanisms for improving the correct management of natural resources. In particular, the management of the quantity and efficiency of water resources and other environmental services occurring in municipalities and departments

3. Development of Demonstrating Interventions regarding the correct management of watrer resources within municipal associations so as to mainstream the lessons learned into local policy

last updated:  Tuesday, January 8, 2013